Archived News

Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

January 10, 2007

To protect animal health and uphold the integrity of the racing industry, the California Horse Racing Board requires analysis of post-race blood and urine samples from horses in competition. The Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory. is the authorized equine drug testing laboratory for California's six permanent race courses, nine seasonal fair venues, and other performance events and locations. This laboratory is based at the School of Veterinary Medicine in the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.  

Watch an online video about faculty and technicians at work, sample collection, analysis and other aspects of this important program. *

The laboratory offers full-service, routine drug testing of roughly 36,000 samples each year. Program funding comes from a portion of California wagering revenues. Laboratory staff members also develop highly specialized methods to document the effects of certain drugs and other substances on equine performance.

Using mass spectrometry, laboratory personnel perform testing that can detect and quantify more than 800 drug substances. In September 2005, the laboratory added pre-race blood testing of all Thoroughbreds in California for total carbon dioxide, which can indicate “milkshaking,” a prohibited procedure believed to increase endurance. 

The equine industry uses faculty research data from the laboratory to make regulatory decisions. Researchers have evaluated the effects of prescribed medications, unauthorized drugs and other substances on the performance of horses. Examples include determining the length of time required for clearance of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications from a horse's system, potential performance effects of the diuretic Lasix, and acceptable residue levels of procaine penicillin. Research projects in pharmacology and toxicology focus on controlled studies to establish more effective drug treatments, dosages and clearance times that currently do not exist for many of the hundreds of therapeutic drugs in use.

Veterinary faculty also provide consultations with veterinary professionals seeking to treat animals and comply with horse racing rules.

 In 2005, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation certified that the Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory meets international standards for chemical testing. 
The Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, part of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory based at the School of Veterinary Medicine, was dedicated in 1999 to the late Kenneth L. Maddy, a California legislator, avid horseman and supporter of veterinary education.

*The CHRB Horse Racing Videos require Windows Media Player (version 6.0 or better). If you do not have Windows Media Player, click here to download it for free.

For more information, contact:
Scott Stanley, Associate Professor
California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory
Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory 
(530) 752-8735